How the new probate regulations could affect you

Rebecca Parr

The Non- Contentious Probate (Amendment) Rules 2018 came into force at the end of November 2018 allowing personal applicants to make online applications for probate, provided certain criteria are met.

The Rules have also introduced a “statement of truth”  to replace sworn oaths, which appears to have been introduced as a necessity to allow online applications.

Prior to the new Rules, it was necessary for a personal representative of an estate to swear an oath and sign the original will in front of an independent solicitor before making an application for probate. The new rules allow the personal representative to sign a statement of truth confirming that the contents of their application are true.

At present solicitors are not able to use the online service and therefore the new procedure seems to be very much in its infancy.

Abbie Kingdon from Samuels Solicitors LLP says: “Whilst the changes are a positive step in moving with the times, clients should not underestimate the importance of obtaining legal advice when dealing with the administration of estates particularly more complex estates which may include trusts or foreign assets. Personal representatives should still seek legal advice to ensure that they have complied with their duties.”

Samuels Solicitors, based in Barnstaple, North Devon, has an experienced and highly qualified team of wills and probate lawyers, ready to assist clients with a whole range of problems which can arise in relation to the administration of estates, or probate, as it is also commonly known.

We assist clients with drafting wills, going through the probate procedures, setting up and administering trusts, preparing powers of attorney and dealing with disputes about inheritance wills, which unfortunately are becoming more common, in part because of the number of unregulated will-writers setting up businesses. 

If you are dealing with an estate, and have questions about the application of the new Regulations, contact us to discuss how we can help.